I’m not talking about shooing away a bug or the front line police force. I want to discuss the importance of SWOT analysis; strength (S), weakness (W), opportunity (O) and threat (T). I believe every organization should spend time at least once a year evaluating and performing a SWOT analysis.
Think about and write down a few strengths of your organization. Every organization has some strengths that they can further take advantage of and emphasize in the marketplace.
In a past career, I directed a product line for a global materials company. One strength of this product line was that we would customize a product specifically for an application. Our customers in military aviation, especially appreciated this aspect, because they knew they were obtaining leading edge materials that they could incorporate into their leading edge aircraft.
Understand what weakness your organization has, so that you can spend time to try and eliminate that weakness. Using the same example from the materials company, we understood that time was a weakness for us in developing these custom materials. The customer wanted them yesterday. Although we couldn’t time an invention, we could time manage stages of the invention. We would break the development into stages and provide the customer with iterations. This would supply evidence for progress.
Make sure your organization is taking advantage of opportunities it has available. In my mentoring and consulting role, I find many organizations stall on pursuing an opportunity because as of yet, they don’t have all the solutions put together. I encourage them to just start the process, because many of the answers will reveal themselves with feedback from the customer.
Should the taxi industry have considered the potential threat of the technology that became Uber? It may have come up in a brainstorming session if they spent the time considering potential threats to their industry and business. All organizations can periodically perform a similar exercise. Ask the question, what could happen in my industry that would threaten my business and how can I prevent it?
Plan for the future, by spending time to analyze your present.
Bill Riegler is a Sales and Marketing consultant with over thirty years of experience. Bill@SandMguru.com